1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Dubia Roaches - convince me??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mountaintopchicken, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    353
    3
    141
    May 23, 2007
    So I was reading this old thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=386263&p=1

    and I'm almost convinced to start raising the scary looking, icky things.

    But a couple of questions. I don't know if Pet Duck Boy is still around but maybe other people here raise them.

    1) Dubias only breed at high temps, which means that they won't escape into your house. But how do you keep the temps high enough for breeding without getting an awful electric bill? I was thinking of a small reptile heater but I don't know if that would be enough and I don't know if the amount of food I would raise would offset the cost of the electric.

    2) If you have to buy roach chow, are you still saving money? Does the cost of the roach chow outweigh what it would cost if you simply bypassed raising roaches and went out and bought some other kind of high protein food such as fish meal or koi pellets?


    Anyone want to convince me that this horrifying idea really is a good one?
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,037
    609
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Sorry, can't help with this one. Creepy. [​IMG]
     
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    878
    2
    131
    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I've never been a girlie girl, most creepy crawlies don't bother me, and I'm willing to do a lot for my animals, but roaches are where I draw the line! NO SIR!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Tried raising earthworms for a while. Do you really wanna put up with all that work and aggrivation???........Pop
     
  5. WestCOastRoaches

    WestCOastRoaches New Egg

    2
    2
    8
    Sep 4, 2011
    I felt the same way. And to this day I wont touch em.

    But I do breed alot of roaches, and I mean ALOT

    Its very east to do and here are a few points that should answer any questions.

    Dubia Roaches are not the roach you think they are. The icky factor is real easy to get over. The are not to freaky.

    When you think cock roaches you think of a nasty bug you see in your house when you turn the lights on in the middle off the night, or while you may be sitting on the toilet for the late night relief.

    They don't climb, fly, or run very fast.The species of roach doesn't make a sound. The cost of breeding roaches is minimal at best. The required heat range for proper breeding is 70-90 degrees. Most people keep their homes between 68 and 72 degrees, or that what they say will keep our bills down anyways.

    You can use a simple electric heating pad. Just about everyone has one for the occasional muscles aches and pains. You will want to keep your roaches in like a 20 gallon rubber maid bin. You can find these for about 4 bucks at any Walmart. Put a few vent holes in the top or the highest point on the side so they get fresh air, this also allows any excess heat that builds inside to vent so you don't cook them. Once you have your bin, you can lie your heating pad under the bin and turn it on low. That should get you at about 75-85 degrees. I will run mine all day wnd when I go to bed at night, I give them a cool time with no heat. The do not like light, so the darker the better.

    Inside your bin you will want to give them something to stick to and to have their babies on. In most case, you can use egg crates or flats. You can buy these on the net, usually it cost more to ship them then the egg crates themselves. You can use and I came up with this one all on my own.

    *Paper towel &Toilet paper rolls.
    The inside part after the soft tissue is gone.

    *Drink or Cup holders from fast food restaurants.

    You usually get the above free with things you buy free. Usually they get tossed in the trash to land in a landfill somewhere, why not use them.


    Now we get to the Roach Chow.

    I sell roach chow, and the entire product is designed to catch a customer more than to feed the roaches. And oddly enough, most times it's ground up cat food or chicken feed. I'm fairly sure most of you already have chicken feed. I feed mine fresh vegetables and fruit. Most places have native fruits and veggies, but there are many you can use. Most of the time you throw away enough food when your prepping dinner will be adequate enough to feed your roaches.

    You can feed them potatoes peels, the ends of the carrots, many different fruits peels (to many to list) such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and the like. When you or your children eat an apple, you don't eat the core. The roaches will make it vanish. Drop the core in their bin and it will be done. I'm sure you get the point. I feed all my roaches on about 25 bucks a monthly. Of course I have ungodly amounts to feed. My breeding pairs are into the thousands, and I produce about 20,000 weekly in fresh babies. So the cost to feed them is low. Overall you wont need roach chow and your wasting cash if you buy it.


    I will mention one of the most important things you do have to buy. There are called water crystals. They turn into gels. Using actual water in your bins is one way to destroy a colony. The roaches will drown trying to get water, the water will allow for ambient moisture that evaporate, condensate back and drip all over your bins. Standing water also allows for bacteria mold and mildew. All of which is not good.


    Spend a few bucks and get yourself some crystals. You put a couple spoon fulls in a plastic dish. Fill the dish with water. The crystals will absorb all the water. Usually 1 ounce of dried crystals will absorb a gallon of water. The crystals are non toxic, and they don;t allow mold and mildew. The roaches can climb on it, so they wont drown. You can even as the crystals dry out, add more water. The crystals are worth the money just on the amount of time you will spend not cleaning because of standing water in your bins.


    I think I about covered all the topics. I will say that should you decide to begin breeding Dubia roaches buy your breeding stock in medium size. Stay away from buying pairs or adult females. Usually what you get is someones wore out females.Buy the mediums and let them grow. Then you get fresh breeders. You will once they start molting the last time, keep a ratio of 1 male to 1 female. After you start seeing new babies you can reduce your male to female ratio to 1 male per 3 females. You can feed of the excess males to your chickens. Let the colony grow until you have plenty of adult breeders.

    You can have 500 pairs of breeders and not spend more than $10.00 per month growing them. That's the electric included from the heat and the food to feed them.

    I think that about covers it. Any more questions feel free to ask.


    WestCoastRoaches
     
    2 people like this.
  6. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    353
    3
    141
    May 23, 2007
    Holy wow! That's a complete answer! Someone should sticky this in case anyone else wants to know about these. They sound an awful lot like raising meal worms with added heat and mandatory water crystals. I may just have to try these. If I'm way too grossed out I can always give them all to the chickens.... [​IMG].

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of that out.

    Edited to add.... I wonder if this would be a good heat source?

    http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiTherm®-Under-Heater/dp/B0002AQCKA
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  7. WestCOastRoaches

    WestCOastRoaches New Egg

    2
    2
    8
    Sep 4, 2011
    Easier than meal worms if you ask me. You will not be grossed out, and its easy to mange the colony. They are stranded in the bins and stay just where you put them. Feed em once a day remove any excess food at end of the day.I use a little plastic cup to retrieve mine from the bins. You should never have to touch them to much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    259
    318
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Thank you for the comment on roach chow. I could not for the life of me figure out why a roach would need a special food. Now I know the answer. They don't.
     
  9. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I see you have (great!) answers to your questions already.
    From personal experience ...
    Raising dubias is indeed very easy. One tip is to change their climbing egg cartons often because they poop little specks on their surroundings. You want to be in there every other day turning their climbing contents over and "making them fresh" (letting their poop fall off the climbing cartons/cardboard/whatever). They will breed VERY fast, so I would say do this only if you have alot of chickens to feed off the male dubias to, or you can easily get too many dubias (if you do- feed off some females to cut down breeding!). I bred them for a bearded dragon and while I only started with less than 10, I ended up with a great colony of hundreds in a short amount of time.
     
  10. How much did the starting costs cost you? Bin, heating pad, Dubais themselves.
    And how do you know when you have too many males : females when you have hundreds?

    Just realized this was from 2011....
    Sorry....
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by